US tariff list aims to hinder China’s high-tech development: expert

By Zhang Ye Source:Global Times Published: 2018/6/16 10:50:05

China will impose 25 percent in tariffs on 659 US goods worth $50 billion, including soybeans, cars and seafood.

The move came as a tit-for-tat response to the tariffs announced by the Trump administration Friday morning. An expert said the US decision does not aim to tackle the trade deficit with China but to block the Chinese government's efforts in high-tech development. 

Tariffs on 545 US goods worth $34 billion will take effect on July 6, involving agricultural products, car parts and seafood, according to a statement released by China's Ministry of Commerce (MOFCOM) on Saturday morning. Soybeans, which are China's biggest import from the US in value, are on the list. 

Chemicals, medical equipment and energy products from the US will also be subject to 25 percent tariffs, which will be announced at a later date. 

The revised list is longer and involves more categories of products than a preliminary list of 106 US goods published by the ministry in April, but the total value of the products remains at $50 billion. 

A Chinese commerce expert found that aircraft were removed from China's new list, which is noteworthy. 

"We need aircraft [from the US]. We have to consider the costs of the countermeasures we plan to take," Bai Ming, deputy director of the Ministry of Commerce's International Market Research Institute, said on Saturday soon after the Chinese tariffs were announced.

It's like acting as a soccer referee who will not call out the offenses and let the play continue when the game still benefits the attacking team even though an attacking player is fouled, Bai further explained. 

China is one of the fastest-growing civil aviation markets in the world, and 15 to 20 percent of Boeing's aircraft deliveries are projected to end in the Chinese market over the next two decades, according to Morgan Stanley.

The US has kept changing their mind and ignited a trade war, which China does not want and will firmly oppose, a spokesperson of the MOFCOM said immediately after US took trade measures on China. "This move not only hurts bilateral interests, but also undermines the world trade order."

"China and the US still have hopes of negotiating and reaching an agreement, as both the tariffs announced by the two countries will not take into effect until next month," said Wang Jun, deputy director of the Department of Information at the China Center for International Economic Exchanges.

Wang told the Global Times that the removal of aircraft from the new list can be a signal that China still wants to talk, and also aircraft can be a valuable chip in the next round of trade negotiations. 

Meanwhile, Wang said the Trump administration's newly published list is not so much a solution for the trade deficit problem with China as efforts to hinder China's technology development. 

US President Donald Trump on Friday announced 25 percent tariffs on $50 billion in Chinese goods, containing industrially significant technologies related to China's "Made In China 2025" strategy. 

According to a list published by the office of the US Trade Representative, the tariffs will be applied on more than 1,000 types of Chinese goods, including aircraft engine parts, bulldozers, nuclear reactors and industrial and agricultural machinery.

American industry also opposed Trump's decision. 

"Imposing tariffs places the cost of China's unfair trade practices squarely on the shoulders of American consumers, manufacturers, farmers, and ranchers. This is not the right approach," US Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Thomas J. Donohue said in a statement posted on the chamber's website on Friday.

Posted in: MARKETS,ECONOMY

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